How to Increase the Paging Volume in Windows Vista - dummies

How to Increase the Paging Volume in Windows Vista

By Woody Leonhard

You can increase the speed and efficiency of your computer by increasing the paging volume in Windows Vista. Your computer comes with a certain amount of RAM, which it uses to keep things running smoothly. When Windows runs out of memory, Vista needs to shuffle things around to keep going. That shuffling is called paging, and it’s accomplished by copying blocks of memory out to your hard disk and using it like RAM.

When Vista copies blocks of memory to use as RAM, it’s using virtual memory. Virtual memory sits in paging files. The reason that increasing your paging volume speeds up your computer is because Windows works like crazy keeping the virtual memory shuffle going. But, if your virtual memory sits on the same disk as your programs and data, Windows has to hop all over the disk to keep all the programs going.

If your paging file sits on a hard disk that doesn’t contain your programs, that helps solve the memory problem simply because Windows can run faster if it’s juggling two different disks at the same time. The net result is that you should allow Windows to use all your fast hard drives for virtual memory (er, paging files), providing the drives have room available.

If the Resource Monitor tells you that you’re getting a lot of hard page faults — say, more than a couple dozen hard faults per second — and you have two (or more) fast hard drives, you may be able to speed up your system significantly by allowing Vista to put paging files on both hard drives.

1Click Start, right-click Computer, and choose Properties.

Vista shows you the View Basic Information about Your Computer dialog box.

2On the left, under Tasks, click the Advanced System Settings link.

You have to click through a User Account Control security prompt, and then Vista brings up the System Properties dialog box, showing the Advanced tab.

3At the top, under Performance, click Settings.

You see the Performance Options dialog box.

4Click the Advanced tab, and then under the heading Virtual Memory, click the Change button.

Vista brings up the Virtual Memory dialog box.

5Uncheck the box marked Automatically Manage Paging File Size for All Drives.

It’s the first option on the dialog box.

6Click any drive that doesn’t currently have a paging file, click the button marked Custom Size, and type Initial and Maximum sizes for the unused drive.

Make the sizes similar to the sizes set for your C: drive.

7Click Set and then click OK three times to go back to Vista.

You might have to restart the computer for your settings to take effect.